Billy-Ball-Curse-in-Reverse

1. Billy-Ball-Curse-in-Reverse

All I needed to do was pronounce the 2010 Seattle Mariners dead, and on their way to a 2008-like 100-loss season, in order to propel them to a sweep over the Cincinnati Reds this weekend. Not only did they sweep them, they disarmed them.

Ryan Rowland-Smith (1-6) held the Reds to three hits over six innings yesterday as the Mariners won 1-0 to complete the sweep. The Reds scored only one (1) run in the three-game series, losing 1-0 twice and 5-1 on Saturday. They have lost six of seven. Meanwhile, Seattle has allowed 1 run or less in four consecutive games.

Franklin Gutierrez hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth off Aaron Harang (5-7) for the only run.

David Aardsma pitched the ninth for his 15th save.

2. BoSox Sweep

This was not like beating the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Red Sox swept the major league Los Angeles Dodgers this weekend amid the Manny B Manny hoop-la. Manny Ramirez had two of LA’s four hits last night, as Clay Buchholz and two relievers shut out the Dodgers 2-0 to complete a three-game sweep.

Buchholz (10-4) allowed three hits, three walks and hit two to win for the seventh time in his past eight starts. He has allowed three runs or fewer in eight straight starts.

The Red Sox have won six in a row, finishing their interleague homestand with an 8-1 record and improving to 16-4 in their past 20 games against NL teams. Boston is now 15 games over .500, just one game out of first.

3. Yankees Move Into First

CC Sabathia shut down the Mets and Mark Teixeira hit a grand slam off Johan Santana as the Yankees beat the Mets 4-0 yesterday to take two of three at the Stadium. Sabathia (8-3) struck out six in winning his fourth straight start. Mariano Rivera pitched the 9th to complete the four-hitter. Mo extended his hitless streak to 22 batters in a row.

Teixeira hit a two-run homer Saturday, making it the first time this he has homered in back-to-back games. He went 4-for-12 with two homers and five RBI against the Mets coming into the weekend 0-for-12. He is hitting .226 with 12 homers and 44 RBI.

The Yankees lead the majors with seven grand slams hit this season while the Mets lead the league with seven grand slams allowed.

4. Will Roy Halladay Miss the All-Star Squad?

Here is something for you to think about: after the Twins beat the Phils yesterday, 4-1, winning pitcher Carl Pavano and losing pitcher Roy Halladay are both 8-6 on the season. Even though Doc has a better ERA 2.43 to 3.46, you have to start wondering if Halladay deserves to be on the All-Star squad. In his favor is the fact that the Phils have scored just nine runs in his six losses.

The trouble to pitching to contact, as Halladay was doing yesterday, is that sometimes those pitches land safely. The Twins had 11 hits off Halladay and took the final two games of the three-game series.

5. Texas Sweeps Houston

The Texas Rangers have now won eight straight after Josh Hamilton hit a tying 9th inning single and then a go-ahead single in the 10th, as the Rangers topped the Astros, 5-4. After getting five hits yesterday, Hamilton is hitting .474 this month. On the nine-game road trip (Texas went 8-1), he had 20 hits.

Neftali Feliz leads the AL in saves after getting his 19th yesterday.

6. Braves Sweep Royals

Eric Hinske drove home a deuce with a double in the 8th to break a tie and the Braves won their fifth straight topping the Kansas City Royals, 8-5.

Billy Wagner struck out two for his 14th save in 16 chances to earn his 399th career save.

Kenshin Kawakami allowed six hits and five runs, four earned in just two innings and remains 0-9 for Atlanta.

7. ChiSox Sweep

Freddy Garcia (8-3) won his fifth straight start and the White Sox beat the Washington Nationals 6-3 for a sweep of their weekend set. Chicago has won a season-high six straight as they went 8-1 on their road trip and reached .500 for the first time since they were 1-1.

Paul Konerko drove home three as the Sox went their eighth straight game without homering. So how have they won? White Sox starters are 9-1 with a 1.97 ERA in their past 12 games.

The Nationals lost their season-worst sixth straight game and are a season-worst eight games under .500.

8. The Other Rookie on the Tigers

There has been a lot of talk about Austin Jackson, the fleet of foot, rookie centerfielder for the Tigers, but I remain equally impressed with Brennan Boesch who had a key 7th homer in the Tigers 3-1 victory over the Diamondbacks. Why am I am so impressed? Boesch leads AL rookies with 10 home runs and 36 RBI and is hitting .337.

Tigers did something very interesting yesterday: they sent down to Triple-A Toledo their rookie sensation from last season, Rick Porcello. Earlier in the year they sent Max Scherzer to the minors to get himself straightened out and he came back to strike out 14 in a start. After going 14-9 last year, Porcello is 4-7 with a 6.14 ERA this season.

Good move for the Tigers.

9. Today

Royals (Bruce Chen) at Nationals (Livan Hernandez), 7:05

Reds (Mike Leake) at A’s (Gio Gonzalez), 10:05

Yankees (A.J. Burnett) at Diamondbacks (Rodrigo Lopez), 10:10

I hate interleague play.